American Guerrilla: The Forgotten Heroics of Russell W. Volckmann

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9781935149224: American Guerrilla: The Forgotten Heroics of Russell W. Volckmann
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A main selection of the Military Book Club and a selection of the History Book Club.

Finalist - Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Book Award

Bronze Medal Book Award - Military Writers Society of America

With his parting words "I shall return," General Douglas MacArthur sealed the fate of the last American forces on Bataan. Yet one young Army Captain named Russell Volckmann refused to surrender. He disappeared into the jungles of north Luzon where he raised a Filipino army of over 22,000 men. For the next three years he led a guerrilla war against the Japanese, killing over 50,000 enemy soldiers. At the same time he established radio contact with MacArthur's HQ in Australia and directed Allied forces to key enemy positions. When General Yamashita finally surrendered, he made his initial overtures not to MacArthur, but to Volckmann.

This book establishes how Volckmann's leadership was critical to the outcome of the war in the Philippines. His ability to synthesize the realities and potential of guerrilla warfare led to a campaign that rendered Yamashita's forces incapable of repelling the Allied invasion. Had it not been for Volckmann, the Americans would have gone in "blind" during their counter-invasion, reducing their efforts to a trial-and-error campaign that would undoubtedly have cost more lives, materiel, and potentially stalled the pace of the entire Pacific War. Second, this book establishes Volckmann as the progenitor of modern counterinsurgency doctrine and the true "Father" of Army Special Forces- a title that history has erroneously awarded to Colonel Aaron Bank of the ETO.

In 1950, Volckmann wrote two Army field manuals: "Operations Against Guerrilla Forces" and "Organization and Conduct of Guerrilla Warfare," though today few realize he was their author. Together, they became the Army's first handbooks outlining the precepts for both special warfare and counter-guerrilla operations.  At a time when U.S. military doctrine was conventional in outlook, Volckmann marketed the ideas of guerrilla warfare as a critical force multiplier for any future conflict, ultimately securing the establishment of the Army's first special operations unit-the 10th Special Forces Group.

 Volckmann himself remains a shadowy figure in modern military history, his name absent from every major biography on MacArthur, and in much of the Special Forces literature. Yet as modest, even secretive, as Volckmann was during his career, it is difficult to imagine a man whose heroic initiative had more impact on World War II. This long overdue book not only chronicles the dramatic military exploits of Russell Volckmann, but analyzes how his leadership paved the way for modern special warfare doctrine.

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About the Author:

CPT Mike Guardia is an Armor Officer in the United States Army. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in American History from the University of Houston. His research interests include World War II in the Pacific, the history of armored warfare and guerrilla warfare. He is currently stationed at Fort Bliss, TX.

Review:

"Historians of the Philippine campaign have largely ignored Volckmann, focusing instead on conventional forces under MacArthur. Fortunately for Mr. Guardia, a serving Army officer, Volckmann kept a rudimentary diary for much of the period, describing how he managed to put together his "private army," one that waged arguably the most successful guerrilla campaign of the entire war. . . . Mr. Guardia argues, convincingly, that Volckmann deserves the title of 'father' of Special Forces." - The Washington Times

This is a book anyone wanting to learn more about guerrilla warfare in the Philippines during World War II Japanese occupation should find interesting. For military history buffs and students of guerilla warfare, it's a must read. - Gun Week

"...an interesting, thought-provoking and well-written read..." - Defenceweb South Africa

 ..."a masterful job of revealing an unknown chapter of World War II." - MilitaryCorrupttion.com

"Russell W. Volckmann is one of the extraordinary men you have probably never heard of...Using official archives and drawing on contemporary accounts and interviews with Volckmann's family, Mike Guardia, a U.S. Army officer, uncovers the remarkable life and career of this most secretive of men...The revelations in this book is certain or at the very least should force a revision of our understanding of Douglas MacArthur and the Philippines campaign, as well as the evolution of post-war thinking." - Tucson Citizen

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Book Description Casemate Books, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. With his parting words I shall return, General MacArthur sealed the fate of the last American forces on Bataan. Yet one young Army Captain, Russell Volckmann, refused to surrender. He disappeared into the jungles of north Luzon and raised a Filipino army of over 22,000 men. For the next three years he led a guerrilla war killing over 50,000 Japanese enemy soldiers. At the same time he established radio contact with MacArthur s HQ in Australia and directed Allied forces to key enemy positions. When General Yamashita finally surrendered, he made his initial overtures not to MacArthur, but to Volckmann. This book establishes how Volckmann s leadership was critical to the outcome of the war in the Philippines. His ability to synthesise the realities and potential of guerrilla warfare led to a campaign that rendered Yamashita s forces incapable of repelling the Allied invasion. Had it not been for Volckmann, the Americans would have gone in blind during their counter-invasion, resulting in much greater loss of life and potentially stalling the entire Pacific campaign. American Guerilla also establishes Volckmann as the progenitor of modern counterinsurgency and the true Father of Army Special Forces. In 1950, Volckmann wrote two field manuals that became the Army s first handbooks outlining the precepts for both special warfare and counter-guerrilla operations. At a time when U.S. military doctrine was conventional in outlook, he marketed the ideas of guerrilla warfare as a critical force multiplier for any future conflict, ultimately securing the establishment of the Army s first special operations unit. Volckmann himself remains a shadowy figure in modern military history, and in much of the Special Forces literature. This long overdue book not only chronicles his dramatic military exploits, but analyses how his leadership paved the way for modern special warfare doctrine. Seller Inventory # AAJ9781935149224

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Book Description Casemate Books, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. With his parting words I shall return, General MacArthur sealed the fate of the last American forces on Bataan. Yet one young Army Captain, Russell Volckmann, refused to surrender. He disappeared into the jungles of north Luzon and raised a Filipino army of over 22,000 men. For the next three years he led a guerrilla war killing over 50,000 Japanese enemy soldiers. At the same time he established radio contact with MacArthur s HQ in Australia and directed Allied forces to key enemy positions. When General Yamashita finally surrendered, he made his initial overtures not to MacArthur, but to Volckmann. This book establishes how Volckmann s leadership was critical to the outcome of the war in the Philippines. His ability to synthesise the realities and potential of guerrilla warfare led to a campaign that rendered Yamashita s forces incapable of repelling the Allied invasion. Had it not been for Volckmann, the Americans would have gone in blind during their counter-invasion, resulting in much greater loss of life and potentially stalling the entire Pacific campaign. American Guerilla also establishes Volckmann as the progenitor of modern counterinsurgency and the true Father of Army Special Forces. In 1950, Volckmann wrote two field manuals that became the Army s first handbooks outlining the precepts for both special warfare and counter-guerrilla operations. At a time when U.S. military doctrine was conventional in outlook, he marketed the ideas of guerrilla warfare as a critical force multiplier for any future conflict, ultimately securing the establishment of the Army s first special operations unit. Volckmann himself remains a shadowy figure in modern military history, and in much of the Special Forces literature. This long overdue book not only chronicles his dramatic military exploits, but analyses how his leadership paved the way for modern special warfare doctrine. Seller Inventory # AAJ9781935149224

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